Teaching Computer Science NOT Word and Excel

New Zealand with implementation of Digital Technology standards is significantly ahead of the UK and many other countries. However we face the same sort of issues they do in terms of qualified teachers. See below.

“Of the 28,000 new teachers last year in the UK, 3 had a computer-related degree. Not 3000, just 3.”Graham McAllister (@grmcall)”
“Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple [two-dimensional] computer animations,”Gove says. “The current lessons are essentially irrelevant to today’s
generation of children who can learn PowerPoint in a week,” says computer games entrepreneur Ian Livingstone, who is an advisor to Gove. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-16493929

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5 Responses to Teaching Computer Science NOT Word and Excel

  1. Stephanie says:

    I see using computer at primary school age (I teach year 7/8) as being a way to help kids communicate with the world outside the classroom which could be through writing blogs and blog comments, skyping with experts and developing basic keyboarding skills. It amazes me how much time we spend on handwriting yet typing isn’t mentioned at all. Computing programming interests me as I just saw a fascinating talk about how programming can be used to teach maths.



  2. edwin bruce says:

    Not sure where “typing” features now. It used to be taught at NCEA level but most students have basic keyboarding skills and habits (albeit inefficient) long before then. And who is to say touch screens/ voice recognition will not overtake need for keyboard entry.

    Maths and Programming are complementary, indeed my father used to teach FORTRAN and BASIC programming languages as part of Maths courses … many decades ago… Full circle perhaps.


    • Stephanie says:

      Indeed I think that for now touch screens/voice recognition will overtake the need for keyboard entry but as it stands right now I’m still wondering if the hours we spend drilling kids on handwriting are well spent.


  3. edwin bruce says:

    Good question. I suspect handwriting in support of developing other skills such as eye/hand coordination, concentration, symbolic meaning, reading etc… will still be required, maybe just less of it.


  4. Paul says:

    I was pleased to see the first student contributions to Mahara, with the reward of improving the tools used in your schools. http://myportfolio.school.nz/interaction/forum/topic.php?id=3299#post11210


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